Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands Police fire more Tasers than other forces

Policeman holding a Taser Image copyright PA
Image caption Police use Tasers to fire 50,000 volts of electricity to "incapacitate subjects"

Tasers were fired by West Midlands Police more than any other force in England and Wales, statistics show.

The weapon was deployed by West Midlands Police 452 times in the six months from January to June, and actually fired in 120 of those cases.

New figures from the Home Office show the force fired more than the four-times-larger Metropolitan Police, which fired 114 times.

Shining a red laser warning dot was the most common Taser use in all 43 forces.

Supt Darren Miles, from West Midlands Police, said: "Officers have to justify using Taser, in the same way as they judge the use of CS spray or batons.

"From January to June this year over 70% of the incidents where Taser was used it was not fired."

'50,000 volts'

The proportion of Taser incidents where the weapon was not fired in England and Wales for the same period is 84%, according to Home Office figures.

Amnesty International UK's arms control director Oliver Sprague said Tasers are only acceptable if used by specially-trained police trying to prevent death or serious injury.

"[But] we simply don't know the circumstances in which people are being fired at with these potentially lethal weapons delivering 50,000 volts of electricity.

"It's especially worrying that some police forces appear to be using these weapons far more readily than others, with West Midlands Police firing the Tasers 120 times in the past six months alone - more even than the Met Police," Mr Sprague said.

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